Australian food has come a long way since 1788, from Captain Cook to the famous chef, from the tucker to the dukkah. Nutritionist Nicole Senior analyzes Australia's evolution to become a modern, multicultural food nation.
Modern Australiancuisine has been heavily influenced by the palettes of migrants to the country. The influx of immigrants from Eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle East has brought with it a wide range of new flavors.
Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Lebanese, French, African and Greek cuisine has become a strong influence on Australian tastes and major cities have a wide variety of restaurants. Australian chefs are famous around the world for their fusion cuisine, which combines traditional European cuisine with Asian flavors. Indigenous Australians have occupied Australia for about 65,000 years, during which time they developed a unique hunter-gatherer diet, known as the tucker shrub, extracted from plants and animals in the Australian region. Since the 19th century, Billy tea was a basic drink for those who walked through the Australian jungle, such as those who worked the land or traveled overland.
Restaurants that offered these different foods began to appear everywhere and were not only popular, but they also began to have a big impact on modern Australian cuisine. Food factories in each city were taken over by large domestic firms and then by multinational corporations. The European carp, common in the Murray River as an invasive species, is not considered edible by most Australians despite being common in kitchens across Europe. 21st century Australian cuisine reflects the influence of globalization, with many fast-food restaurants and international trends becoming increasingly influential.
The wonderful thing about Australian food today is its abundance, freshness, quality and great variety. Asian food was introduced to Australia during the 19th century gold rush, when Chinese prospectors craved the taste of home. At the same time, in the 70s, American “fast food” arrived in the form of MacDonald's, Hungry Jacks (Burger King) Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and Pizza Hut. Although some New Zealanders claim this dessert is theirs, it is believed that Australian chef Herbert Sasche created it to honor the 1935 Australian visit of Russian dancer Anna Pavlova.
After initial difficulties, Australian agriculture became a major global producer and supplied fresh produce for the local market. It's a good time to write about food and, in particular, about seafood, as it has now almost become traditional Australian Christmas food. Australian burgers consist of a fried veal burger, served with grated lettuce and sliced tomato on a round roll or bun (usually toasted).